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Dreaming of Laughing Hawk
by Linda Katmarian
1.What or who inspired you to start writing?
That’s a hard question. First of all, I was an avid reader from a young age. I loved all the adventure I could find between the pages. My father was a reader and he always encouraged reading. Being a writer was just a next step. Playing with words.
2.How did you come up with ideas for your books?
Pick up any newspaper. It’s full of hundreds of stories. But all stories need strong characters who can direct the action.
3.What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
I classify my novel as romantic suspense but it could also be classified as young adult, literary, or contemporary fiction. For me as a writer or reader, there has to be a lot going on in a novel besides romance. There needs to be danger or a challenge to the characters. There needs to be insight into the social environment in which the characters live. The characters and their environment need to be real.
4.What expertise did you bring to your writing?
I have a Master’s degree in French literature and I studied under Sol Stein, prolific novelist and former publisher/owner of Stein & Day in New York. I also studied with Louella Nelson, romance author and teacher of writing.
5.What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
I’m a gardener, a pretty mean cook in the kitchen, and an aspiring watercolorist.
6.As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
I’m beginning the groundwork for a new novel. It is just so nebulous right now, I wouldn’t know how to describe it. It feels like an archeological dig. I don’t have a clue what I’m going to dig up.
7.If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
I guess I like Hawk, one of the main characters in Dreaming of Laughing Hawk. He is tough on the outside, gentle and wise on the inside, and absolutely unpredictable.
8.Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
Critique groups are important, providing you survive them. There are basically two kinds of critique groups: the kind that praise everything you do and offer nothing but positive support for your work, and then there is the other kind that rips you up and leaves you bleeding on the floor. Both types of critique groups are dangerous for a writer. To be a writer you have to discard your ego. Period. You have to be able to glean the wheat from the chaff when it comes to criticism. You cannot allow someone to demean you nor can you allow someone to heap false praise upon your efforts. You have to see your work clearly and accept criticism that is useful.
9.When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
During my career as a technical writer/supervisor and raising a family, I had very little time for writing. I always kept working at. Several years ago I started to write my novel, hoping that someday I might have the time to pull it all together. I quit my job a year ago and finally published Dreaming of Laughing Hawk in January 2013. I mean, how long can you tell people you are working on a novel? I decided to self-publish after weighing the pros and cons of traditional vs. self-publishing.
10. What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
The best advice regarding publishing came from Joel Friedlander’s online class in self-publishing. Without that class, I would probably still be floundering around.
The best advice regarding writing came from Sol Stein.
11. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Both. Whatever works or is necessary at any given point in time.
12. Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
I have too many hobbies. I don’t see any need to carry these over into my books, but who knows? The character Elizabeth in Dreaming of Laughing Hawk has a strong interest in art. Other than that, I have not brought hobbies into my writing.
13. Do you have an all time favorite book?
It’s pretty hard to nail down an all time favorite. There is a full spectrum of authors I admire from Albert Camus and Graham Green to Louise Ehrich and Janet Fitch. I particularly like Fitch’s White Oleander.
14. Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
I’m afraid it’s just a glimmer in my eye at this point. I couldn’t tell anyone about it, because I will probably change my mind every day until I find my groove.
15. Do you have any family traditions or recipes you might like to share?
Some of my favorite recipes can be found here: http://www.lindakatmarian.com/dans-la-cuisine/ There are only about a dozen recipes here but that’s because they are special for me and my family.
16. What is your favorite reality show?
None. I absolutely hate reality shows.
17. Who is your favorite actor and actress?
Meryl Streep. Leonardo DiCaprio.
18. If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?.
I have no idea. I would put it in Robert Redford’s capable director hands.
In 1964 Elizabeth Leigh is looking forward to college, escape from her unhappy home, and the fulfillment of her dreams. Adventure. Love. Her place in the sun. On a restless afternoon, she leaves school early and discovers her mother is packing to run off with a lover, abandoning Elizabeth and her stepfather. Worse, she learns her mother has squandered the college money her grandfather left her.
A fortuitous invitation from her cousin Melina to come to Los Angeles rescues her from an uncertain future. In Los Angeles, Elizabeth finds security in the embrace of her aunt’s family and is introduced to the man who soon becomes her fiancé, Collin Greenslade, an ambitious, up-and-coming real estate developer. Life could not be more perfect.
When her cousin’s boyfriend, a civil rights activist, has his Thunderbird vandalized in Mississippi, he enlists his roommate, Mark Laughing Hawk, to tow his car back home. Melina insists that she and Elizabeth should come along for the ride, but what starts as a fun romp across the country becomes a journey of the soul that complicates love and endangers lives.
Dreaming of Laughing Hawk explores the desire for love, power, and sense of purpose and the lengths we will go to attain them.
Collin walked down the front steps toward the driveway and glanced over his shoulder at the house. A sacrifice by someone who had failed to perform his crime perfectly, he thought. The house had been payment to his father for legal services, and it was a constant reminder that C.J. Greenslade exacted his own special justice. No matter how the verdict fell, C.J. saw that justice was served—if a guilty client did not do time, he paid dearly for his ticket to freedom. The house's taint of guilt did not trouble Collin so much as the thought that his father had given him this house and he had accepted it. For a long time he had taken his father's generosity for granted, had expected it as a birthright, but lately he had concluded that this all came to him with a hidden price tag.
Author Linda Katmarian grew up in the Midwest and graduated with a Master’s Degree in French literature from Illinois State University. She has studied under Sol Stein, prolific author and former owner of Stein & Day publishing company in New York, and Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. In 2012, after a long career as a technical writer, Linda committed herself to writing fiction full time. She lives in Southern California. DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK is her debut novel.
Author page: http://amazon.com/author/lindakatmarian
Link to ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Dreaming-of-Laughing-Hawk-ebook/dp/B00B2NWZRK/
Link to print book: http://www.amazon.com/Dreaming-Laughing-Hawk-Linda-Katmarian/dp/0988297205/